Zadan and Meron send Gays on Strike at A&E
A&E Network is crossing the picket line for Gays on Strike. The cable network is developing the original movie (Gays on Strike is the working title), which is described as a high-concept comedy in the vein of the feature film In & Out. It centers on a young gay couple who inadvertently spark a strike by every gay person in America to protest for their right to get married; the couple then unwillingly become poster children for gay marriage.
"We do a variety of different things in longform, but sometimes we have to break out of the traditional modes and have some fun," A&E head of programming Bob DeBitetto told The Hollywood Reporter. "This is a homegrown concept that was developed by our drama team. We wanted to get the best producers and writers on board, and it did attract the best in the business." After developing the concept, A&E brought on board Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's Storyline Entertainment, which has an overall production deal at Sony Pictures TV for television movies. Zadan and Meron (Chicago) will executive-produce the movie, which is being written by Stephen Mazur (Liar Liar).
DeBitetto added that the movie isn't intended to target a specific audience but is designed to appeal to a wide range of viewers. "First and foremost, it's entertaining and funny, but it's also clever and has a serious undercurrent because it's tapping into the issues we're all dealing with today," he said.
In other Zadan-Meron news, Variety reports that the producing duo will team with Hugh Jackman and John Palermo to make several musical films for theatrical distribution. Jackman would star in and produce the features. Disney execs Dick Cook and Nina Jacobson floated the deal after seeing Jackman star as gay singer Peter Allen in the Broadway hit The Boy From Oz.